Saturday, April 19, 2008

Buying Habits

When I first saw the cover of my latest Harlequin Blaze, "Putting It To The Test", I was thrilled to see the teaser, "Cheating On A Sex Survey...What's The Worst That Can Happen?" I thought it was great. Why? Because I'm a reader who buys books based on blurbs and teasers.

For the most part, I could care less if an author is a NY Times best seller. Quotes by other famous authors on the front cover don't faze me, nor do six pages of fantastic reviews listed in the frontmatter. I don't have to have heard of the author before, and the fact that I like the author doesn't make the book an instant buy. I base probably 80% of my purchasing decisions on the book's blurb, and whether or not those few paragraphs have described a storyline that sounds interesting to me.

I never thought much of it until I heard an interview with Brenda Chin, Senior Editor for Blaze, who said most Blaze readers buy based on author. My own experience as a Blaze author supports that, given the comments I hear from readers who liked my first book. And I found that really interesting.

For me, even authors I like a lot need to get past my "blurb filter". I've only got one that I can think of, and that's Susan Elizabeth Phillips, who I will buy no matter what the topic. But that's a rarity for me.

So I guess that makes me a full-fledged Blurb Buyer, and it got me curious to know how other people make their book buying decisions.

What about you? Do you have a number of favorite authors that are auto-buys for you? Do you buy based on imprint, blurb, cover, recommendations from friends? What's the most likely trigger that will get you to pick up a book and take it home?


Pat Cochran said...

I absolutely am a back-of-the-book
reader and base my purchases on the
information gathered there!! I have
authors who are favorites but even they have to pass the "back" test!

Pat Cochran

Gigi said...

I also am a back-of-the-book reader.
Like Pat I have favorite authors but I have to like the concept of the story.

Now I will also go off author recomendation. I have found so many great books that way. On an authors website they might rave about books they have read and sometimes I buy a book based on author recomendations.

Ellen said...

I will join the full fledged blurb buying club. Pictures and authors may get me to pick up the book but the blurb seals it.

Lois said...

Oh geez, I have my autobuy authors. . . and when it's a new or new to me author I go by blurb only. When it comes to series books, the the H. Romance, Blazes, Presents etc., since I have to limit myself (darn it!), I'll be partly autobuy with some authors, or gravitate towards certain lines first, or browse and go by what sounds interesting! :)